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Skin care 4.0: 'Transparency' and 'inclusivity' must be the digital future

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Skin care needs digital tools to inform and engage consumers online says Skin Match Technology

Related tags beauty 4.0 digital e-commerce Skin care INCI list clean beauty transparency inclusivity

Advancing digital tools that help men and women select suitable skin care products is a huge opportunity and brands should be doing everything to be as transparent and informative as possible, says Estella Benz, founder of Skin Match Technology.

In CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s seventh Beauty 4.0 Podcast ​– a digital series looking at how technology and innovation will shape beauty’s future – we catch up with Estella Benz, founder of AI beauty software specialist Skin Match Technology. 

Estella Benz, founder of AI beauty software specialist Skin Match Technology
Estella Benz, founder of AI beauty software specialist Skin Match Technology

In this 20-minute podcast, Benz talks about the opportunity to use digital tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to offer beauty consumers more when online shopping, particularly men – a category she believes there remains much more to be done.

Beyond unisex skin care offerings and working with ‘niche’ indie brands

“The men’s section is booming; it has been growing a lot. I think there’s still a lot of potential, as there is in the women’s sector, but I think the next big step is inclusivity and understanding there’s lines that need to be blurred,”​ she said

Inclusivity was an important part of beauty’s future, she said, and indie brands were certainly ahead in this mindset – why Skin Match Technology was focused on working with these smaller players. “They understand their customers; they usually have a niche; and they’re very clear in their positioning. And I think that is quite interesting for us. Also, they embrace, in general, transparency and inclusivity.”

Skin Match Technology had therefore worked hard to ensure its software was accessible to these smaller brands, that inevitably had smaller budgets and portfolios, Benz said.

Beauty consumer info boom – INCI explainer and clean beauty icons

And she said the trend of consumers wanting to know more about beauty products had evolved “tremendously”​ in the last couple of years, providing opportunity for indie and major beauty players alike.

Skin Match Technology already offered an ‘INCI’ explainer tool detailing what ingredients were in a product and why they were there and it was currently piloting a clean beauty icon tool that highlighted certain aspects of a product simply – listing it as ‘ocean friendly’, for example. And whilst ‘clean’ remained an undefined term, she said this tool still aligned with the direction industry was headed. “I think it’s about transparency, about explaining to the customer what they understand about clean beauty.”

But beyond just helping consumers choose the right beauty product for them, Benz said all this data could be also used by brands and retailers for new product development and marketing initiatives. Though this aspect wasn’t high on industry’s agenda yet as they were still very much focused “on the front end”​ and what consumers could see.

Beauty 4.0 Podcast – more insight on tech-driven personalised beauty

For more insight on the key opportunities digital holds for informing online beauty consumers, listen to our 20-minute podcast above or access our podcasts by subscribing via Apple Podcasts​ or finding us on Spotify​.

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